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Broadway & The Bard

From 17 critic and 55 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Original, Clever, Great acting

About the show

Amas Musical Theatre presents stage and screen veteran Len Cariou, combining his two great loves – Shakespeare and American Musical Comedy – into one diverse evening of soliloquy and song. More…

Universally acclaimed stage and screen veteran Len Cariou gives full voice to an idea that he has harbored for years. Combining his two great loves into one rich and diverse tapestry; outfitting trenchant classical soliloquies and sonnets with inventive musical pairings from beloved writers of the Great White Way.

NY Theatre Guide

"A production of pure genius. The melding of Shakespeare’s lyrical iambic pentameter combined with the melodies of some of Broadway’s most enduring songs and the mastery of a seasoned actor creates an evening that I will not forget for a very long time...I finally saw how Shakespeare should be spoken – with a lyrical truthfulness and extreme attention to detail. His visualization in the throws of various monologues was spellbinding...Kleinbort’s direction is sophisticated and sublime." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Mr. Cariou and Mr. Janas are a successful team and have a genuinely good time working together. This authenticity and pure honesty translate to the audience in remarkable ways…The iconic stage actor and accompanist, in collaboration with director Barry Kleinbort, triumph in achieving Mr. Cariou’s idea of combining his two great loves – Shakespeare and the American Musical. The eighty-minute melding of superb soliloquy and memorable song could not be finer." Full Review


"A highly diverting 80-minute solo show at that takes advantage of the actor’s many talents. While Cariou’s baritone voice has dimmed in power from his 'Sweeney Todd' days, it can still boom when needed, and his facility with the Bard’s language makes one wish that someone would cast him in one of the umpteenth Shakespearean production New York sees every year...You needn’t brush up on your Shakespeare to enjoy this outing; just sit back and take it all in." Full Review

Epoch Times

"Cariou is able to project informality and intimacy...He also intersperses the selections with entertaining and informative chat on his experiences…Cariou travels easily from speech to song and back again. His singing pipes are no longer those of the man he once was, but his technique is such that he always comes through...For lovers of words and songs, 'Broadway and the Bard' is altogether a delightful way to spend an evening in the presence of an artful, seasoned performer." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"There are few surprises among the speeches but the songs are all a delight...Mr. Cariou is as good an actor as he’s ever been, providing honest, clearly spoken, insightful readings of his dramatic pieces, but, sadly, his vocal instrument is no longer the rich baritone it once was...This forces him to act his songs as much as he sings them; happily, in this he never falters, squeezing so many nuances from the lyrics that you willingly forgive what the years have wrought." Full Review


"The show is warm and delightful. At age 76, the actor's sharp and stinging presence has mellowed a bit and his singing voice has lost a bit of its range, but his aged wisdom and craft as an actor remains of a high caliber. Len Cariou certainly has more tales worth attending up his talented sleeve." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Although the revue title may suggest otherwise, the songs aren't always plucked from musical adaptations of Shakespeare...The fathomless pathos Cariou instills in it is show stopping as well as heart stopping...As might be expected, Cariou no longer has his second age voice. The sixth-age one, however, is well worth hearing. The veteran performer continues to exert masterful control over the lines in Shakespeare plays to which he's committed so much of his distinguished career." Full Review


"It is a delicious confection of Shakespeare and Broadway songs...Cariou gets an A for straddling 'Broadway and the Bard' and discovering the common romantic ground between them...At its best moments, it's a dynamic pas de deux. But not all of Shakespeare's verse can be shoehorned that easily into the iconic songs...Cariou's voice is not as mellifluous as it was in years past, and he did need a line, or two...However, Cariou more than makes up for this by his sheer charisma." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"It should be noted that this work, a memoir really, puts greater demands on the vocal cords than Verdi or Wagner. Len Cariou is onstage without respite for 80 minutes. The narration is a joy and all the Shakespeare is splendidly performed. But the songs are problematic. Where they’re pianissimo they are sung superbly. But full-throated offerings that are forte are less effective. There’s a marked tremolo. That noted, the show is fun and there’s no better way to spend 80 minutes." Full Review


"A charmingly diverting if light-weight evening of thematic pairings of monologues with songs from among Broadway’s masters…While Len Cariou seems to have missed his opportunity for a deep analysis of the Shakespeare that he has included, his aim seems to have been to give a memoir in story and song. Under the direction of Barry Kleinbort, his breezy, nonchalant manner is quite infectious and he makes the 80 minutes pass as in a moment." Full Review

American Theater Web

"'Broadway and The Bard' ultimately succeeds because, throughout, Cariou commands attention during the spoken portions of the piece (one longs for him to take on some Shakespeare in the city soon). And when singing, his voice has a suppleness to it that charms." Full Review

The New York Times

"An odd but enjoyable solo show, starring the stage veteran Len Cariou, that juxtaposes monologues and sonnets with songs from musicals...Mr. Cariou’s singing voice has naturally lost some — well, frankly, much — of its power and agility since his heyday...Mr. Cariou’s delivery of his Shakespearean set pieces is exemplary, across a broad range of emotional territory." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The years vanished as the actor once again invested Lerner's words with a devastating sense of loss and yearning....If the rest of 'Broadway and the Bard' were of this quality, I'd be busy rustling up superlatives, but much of the time this is one of the season's odder entertainments...Cariou's voice is seriously diminished and he spends much of the evening pushing it to places it has no business going...'Broadway and the Bard' certainly has its pleasures, but not nearly as many as I had hop... Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Even in the best of moments, little of this seems necessary or insightful. You won't learn much about Cariou or Shakespeare…And though Cariou remains a powerful and creative actor, his singing voice is far from its earlier glory...This presents no such liability on the monologues, which are brimming with musicality, variety, and excitement...Even so, Cariou is so gifted and so likable that you're willing to forgive him and the show a lot." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"A highpoint of this evening is simply listening to Cariou put each of the Bard’s contributions in context. He’s a natural and enthusiastic storyteller…Engaging performance is marred by a denouement of volume wherein Cariou pushes his vocal to places it won’t comfortably go…Playing is deft. Director Barry Kleinbort’s excellent contribution to the shape of this piece is almost visible...If only a more consistent performance could be achieved." Full Review

Time Out New York

"What more could the 76-year-old legend want? The answer’s there in 'Broadway and the Bard’s' second number: 'Applause.' Once an ovation addict, always an ovation addict. Trouble is, Cariou may be getting more out of us than we him...While the narration between sections is crusty and halting, Cariou’s sonorous recitation of Shakespeare finds music in the verse. His singing, however, is not what it once was...Cariou’s vocal delivery is sadly underpowered." Full Review

Front Row Center

"He gives everything he has, despite a baritone that has seen better days and high notes that now come as whispers...The work is a strange brew...The thematic structure is loosey goosey...He often seems to draw a blank when delivering the short transitional pieces of dialogue between scenes. These moments are betrayed with such looks of panic that at one point I honestly thought I was about to witness a medical emergency." Full Review

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate Shakespeare and Broadway.

Don't see it if you have no interest in good theater.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Original

See it if You love Shakespeare combined with show tunes. Witty and entertaining one man show by the always enchanting Len Criou

Don't see it if Shakespeare is not your cup of tea. Music and recitation do not interest you. You want to hear the voice of Len as good as it used to be

Delightful, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy Shakespearea & show music, performed by a class act. Carriou is entertaining & makes you feel like he's talking to just to you.

Don't see it if you are too young to enjoy classic shows, or Shakespeare bores you. Carriou is a theater veteran, and a class act, mixed the two seamlessly.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Original

See it if A fan of Len Cariou and the best of the Broadway standards

Don't see it if Ur expecting Sweeney Todd

Absorbing, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if Love Shakespeare, classic show tunes or a broadway greats!

Don't see it if You're not a Shakespeare fan!

Intelligent, Original, Cabaret-eque, Clever, Reminiscent

See it if you like Shakespeare & want to hear obscure Bway showtunes, through the lens Shakespearean characters. Loved the explaining between numbers!

Don't see it if you are expecting a Broadway jukebox-type show, of all well-known songs or can't handle a show where all the songs sound very similar.

Delightful, Charming, A trip down memory lane with cariou, Great acting, His voice is not what was

See it if you are a Cariou fan (who isn't?) and like Shakespeare

Don't see it if you are not a fan of memoir.

Delightful, Entertaining, Clever

See it if enjoy fine renditions of Broadway standards and don't mind experiencing a variety of unrelated Shakespearean soliloquoies in a single show.

Don't see it if dislike cabaret-style presentations or shows without plots.

Enchanting, Indulgent

See it if you love Shakespeare, musical theatre, & Len. Also, if acting a song is more important than perfect singing - a pleasure to watch.

Don't see it if u prefer shows with plots & only like music for the notes. Also, the piano sometimes overpowered him, so if u have hearing probs, be warned

Entertaining, Original, Intelligent, Delightful

See it if you're a fan of Cariou, Shakespeare, and/or show tunes; an interesting pairing of songs and soliloquies, though some work better than others

Don't see it if you're looking for a really deep exploration of the subject, or are bothered by Cariou's less-than-perfect vocal technique at almost age 80

Entertaining, Original, Refreshing, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if You are a fan of either or both show tunes and Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy one actor shows !

Slow, Great acting, Indulgent, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You want to see a Broadway legend, you're a big Shakespeare fan, or both.

Don't see it if You're looking for a show that goes beneath the surface of the connections between famous Broadway songs/stories and Shakespeare works.

Entertaining, Thoughtful, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare and Broadway classics. Cariou has thoughtfully curated both elements and his performance is that of a true star.

Don't see it if you're expecting something revolutionary. This is more of a twist on a nightclub/cabaret act.

Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you are a Cariou fan, you like really well acted Shakespeare monologues and semi obscure songs from old musicals performed by a faded star.

Don't see it if you like strong singing, songs you recongnize, or if you're sensitive to what I perceived to be more than a hint of misogyny.

Poignant, A stage memoir, Personal, Funny at times

See it if You love Len Cariou, enjoy seeing Broadway vets reminisce, have a thing for Shakespeare and chase old show tunes rarely heard.

Don't see it if You have no familiarity with any of the above; if you want a polished performance. He's like your tale-telling grandpa but his voice is gone

Dated, Slow, Intelligent

See it if Dull slow, a sleeper.

Don't see it if You are looking for excitement.

Clever, Disappointing, Great acting, Poor singing, Original

See it if you love Shakespeare well-spoken and don't mind great songs poorly sung. The premise is very clever, and the life stories are engaging.

Don't see it if you feel embarrassed for entertainers whose talents are wanning. Cariou shouldn't sing any more. His black shirt did him no favors.

Original, Mixed bag, Uneven, Great writing, Clever concept

See it if You like taking chances on off Broadway shows

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with aging stage actors

Banal, Dated, Indulgent

See it if You like Shakespeare, you like Len Cariou, you know/appreciate older musicals.

Don't see it if You like a big production with a plot, don't like Shakespeare, expect to hear Cariou's good voice (he lost it), don't like older shows

Banal, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if Let's face it, the old man doesn't have a great voice, so what's the point? That's it, there is no point to this show.

Don't see it if you really hate Shakespeare...or musical theater from the past.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like musicals. He sings songs and talks about Shakespere's plays, fun anecdotes from his life on the stage, a veteran performer.

Don't see it if you're expecting usual plot, storyline, characters, dancing.

Cliched, Confusing, Banal, Clever, Ambitious

See it if If you love theater

Don't see it if If you love Shakespeare

Clever, Enchanting, Delightful, Entertaining, Original

See it if You loves singing, Shakespeare, and variety shows.

Don't see it if You're not a Shakespeare fan or don't like singing and soliloquies alternating and would rather a story being told.

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You especially love Len Cariou. He goes over his career in between song and verse

Don't see it if You don't have a liking for single person doing song and verse


See it if You enjoy an intimate one-man cabaret show and you like Len Cariou!

Don't see it if You don't like Len Cariou

Cast & Creatives (6)